Monday, July 31, 2006

The $300,000,000 Challenge

Just returned from conferencing, and I have lots of good stuff to share. First, some good news: PJ Tracy (mother-daughter duo wrote authored the brilliant mystery Monkeewrench) will be interviewing with Writer Unboxed! More good news: Anthea Bell, the translator for Cornelia Funke will also be interviewing, and she believes Ms. Funke herself will be up for a chat as well! I'm psyched! Finally, Barbara Samuel, another Queen of Women's Fiction and recent RITA winner, has agreed to interview! These are terrific authors, and WU is proud to have them!

I have so much information to sort through, but here's one nugget I recall vividly from a session about making fiction writing a priority. The topic drew me in; there seems to always be something sucking my time--nonfiction work and kiddos probably rank as the top two. But guess what? I'm so not special. (Drat.) Successful authors have to juggle as many, if not more, responsibilities as I do. The difference is that they found a way to break through the daily grind to carve out Enough. Time. Balance. Motivation. Stamina. Take a peek at the key to their success.

But first, a story!

Pretend you're in the middle of your workday when you learn a remarkable truth: There's $300,000,000 (tax free, no strings) waiting for you on the opposite side of the country. You just need to get to the money by the end of the day.

What will you do? Take a second now, and think about your plan of action.

Leave work and head for the airport? (After telling your boss just what you think of him/her? Grin.) What happens if your car breaks down on the way? And the taxi you hire gets a flat tire or is being driven by a pregnant woman who goes into labor? What happens if your plane is delayed? Or your credit card company says, "no way" when you try to charge the cost of the flight?

Would you keep fighting? Would you consider begging, borrowing, stealing? How far would you go?

Most people will do anything--anything--to reach that money. It's important to them. So important that they'll find creative ways around drastic situations to ensure they live HEA with those millions in the bank.

Now how productive could you become if your wip was as much a priority? What in your life could you rearrange? Bargain about? How many minutes might you steal? How much further on your wip would you be if the desire to finish your story burned as strongly within you as if someone held a multi-million-dollar promise just out of reach? Can you fight harder?

Those successful authors I mentioned earlier? That's what they do. I know I'm going to as well. It's as easy/hard as increasing the flame.

Write on, all.


Blogger Kathleen Bolton said...

Yay! Teri's back!

This is a great post. It's so important to prioritize the work, and sometimes we don't give ourselves permission to do so. If imagining $3M makes it happen, so be it!

3:06 PM  
Blogger Brenda Oig said...

How Badly Do You Want It?

I love this post, Teri. It made me think about my situation. I wrote about it at my blog, link above. Thanks for helping to make things clear. :-)

9:13 PM  
Blogger Therese Walsh said...

Heya, Bren. I'm so glad the post "spoke" to you. It really was a great session. :) T

9:51 PM  
Blogger Elena Greene said...

Yes, great post. Something for me to remember on these summer days with the kids home, when I struggle to carve out an hour of writing time between errands and play dates and then the phone rings or a toilet backs up. When it seems so much more sensible to just give up.


7:33 AM  
Blogger Rene said...

I'm afraid $300K wouldn't make me drop everything. It's only money. Make it a magic pill which instantly brings me to my ideal weight and never lets me gain a pound no matter how many slices of cheesecake I ate or how many apple martinis I down.

But I like the concept, it puts the dream in perspective. If you want it bad enough, you will make it happen. Good post.

11:33 AM  

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